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Am I Retired?

To all of my fellow MSers, those who are newly diagnosed and those like me that have been living with MS for quite some time…

I now understand that I have freedom even though I have MS.

You know, in hindsight, I recently realized that I really was pushed into an early “retirement” I’ll call it. MS and my symptoms of the disease resulted the inability for me to work my secular job in 2006. As this major life change happened, I didn’t think of it as retirement though. I thought of it as a loss of the capability to live my life the way that I believed it would be lived for the rest of my working days. But now I’ve realized that I can choose to view this circumstance now, as my time. I’m 60 now and maybe that has something to do with how I’m feeling.

This belief that I was being deprived of living my life in the traditional and expected way and at the expected age, really did not serve me well. With time, and the journey through my MS experience. I have come to realize that I am only as confined, or as free, as my mind allows me to be. It is my hope that many of you have already been living your life with this mindset, but it has taken me awhile to come around to understanding that time will tick on whether I choose limiting beliefs or choose to allow myself the freedom to explore things beyond the expected. All with the intention to find how I can learn to live my best life with MS. I’m so looking forward to it!

May we all allow ourselves permission to explore our possibilities, my friends.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.


    7 months ago


  • Azjackie
    10 months ago

    Thank you Lexine for your retirement story.

    I found the phrase retirement very difficult to absorb. I had worked 30 years year round 50 + hours, by the way, the crappiest of hours as I “didn’t have a family” before MS took my career.

    It is hard to think of the positive as work is what I’d constantly had to fall back on. When my parents fought, go to work. Hard day at school, go to work. Disagreement with boyfriend, go to work. You get the idea. Now that I can’t go to work I have nothing. I take that back. I have suffering. MS has taken everything; health, career, money, love, self esteem…I can only be acraid of the future. Not because of my health but of what else is there to take?

  • Lexine Darden author
    10 months ago

    so appreciated your message to me. My work was a large part of my identity. I was a helper to others as a victim advocate. I suddenly had to figure out what I would do and how I would keep my life afloat not being able to any longer filll that void to help others. I really had to and actually finally had to, carve out the time to find out who I remained being despite MS. It was lonely and scary. But I worked my way through a lot of it yet in many ways i’m still working through it. I am the same person but I have to fulfill my purpose first by taking care and putting myself first. that was a hard one for me and still is in many ways. With all the time in the world I found myself sitting in what I am now and what I want to be in the future MS or not. So take stock as I did working your way through this journey of self-discovery. I believe with time and patience shown towards yourself, you will come out a more enlightened person and lead a life of a new found or renewed purpose. All the best to you to my friend. Lexine

  • ASAPcindy
    10 months ago

    My circumstances and age make me almost a mirror of you. It seems like I was so introspective trying to understand how to live with ms I lost a few years there. Everyone always had an opinion on how if I only did X my life would be so much better. And I’d think so much about it, trying to figure out if every piece of advice could be applied to me and my circumstances, a lot of time passed. I have chosen to have my elderly mom stay here since my dad passed. It seem like since then life has been doing a steady 75 in a 30 mile zone, But it’s shaken me out of my coma and we’ll do what we do until it doesn’t work anymore. And then when that’s done I’m promising me that it’s my turn. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!

  • Lexine Darden author
    10 months ago

    ASAPcindy, despite all of the well-intended suggestions ultimately we make a decision that we believe is best for us. Our priorities change as we go on our journey, one which unless you’re on a similar path is truly hard for others to relate to and understand.
    You are so right. We do what we have to do according to our circumstances and make it work until it doesn’t anymore. I’m living with my young daughter was 22 years old and it’s working fine right now for both of us. But if and when the time comes we will find another way separately possibly. And then it will be totally my time and totally hers although we will always be linked because we love each other and have so much in common. But I’m with you we will find and we will have our time damn the torpedoes and all!

  • Erin Rush moderator
    10 months ago

    Hi Lexine! I just love your outlook! I think you shared some really hard won wisdom in this post. While it’s most definitely not easy to look on the bright side of MS, I am glad you are able to do so and share with the community. Thank you for taking the time to write and post this! I am glad you are a part of this community. Best, Erin, Team Member.

  • Lexine Darden author
    10 months ago

    Thanks Erin for your kind words. My hope is that the readers will be reminded that we MSers remain in control of many things which can surely contribute to each of us living our best life.

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